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Bolts' Rookies Face Important Week

The Los Angeles Chargers parted ways with each other at the end of last week's mini camp for some rest and relaxation before the grind of training camp begins late next month.

However, the 23 members of the team's rookie class stayed behind to take part in the Rookie Transition Program.  

For years, the NFL hosted a symposium in Canton, Ohio only for drafted players. However, they made the switch last year for each individual team to put on their own program for all rookies.  The Bolts' takes place over three days this week from Tuesday through Thursday.

The NFL requires mandatory topics be covered, including social responsibility, mental health, character, and many other valuable subject matters.  It marks the culmination of an offseason program that also includes player health and safety, financial education, social media, playing rule changes from college to the pros and more.

Senior Director of Player Engagement Arthur Hightower is tasked with creating the itinerary, and delved into the benefits of the program.

"The NFL does a great job giving us a program with modules to help acclimate the rookies to their new profession," he said.  "Teams do it in different variations, but I stick to the approach I came up with of having a separate period outside those modules throughout the offseason.  That way we have a three day period where we can bring in speakers from the league office, former players and others to talk about important policies they need to be aware of. So this week, they'll learn more about the business of the NFL and the policies that affect them."

The highlight of the week for the rookies will be the opportunity to chat with two Chargers legends as Shawne Merriman and Nick Hardwick will meet with them separately for an hour.

"Those two players had great careers on and off the field, so they can tell them about what it was like when they played, as well as transitioning away from the game.  The rookies can see what the game meant to them, and get a look into their future. This is a special opportunity for these players because they are the first draft class of the Los Angeles Chargers.  They wear that distinction, and are a tight knit group.  This is a profession, and each rookie has a chance to make our squad and do great things for us this year."

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